(Spoiler) Stranger Things Season 2: An Upside Down Review


Stranger Things took audiences by storm when they tuned in for the first season.  This Netflix original was an instant hit, and viewers both young and older were brought together by a lovable group of kids and an intoxicating mystery.  Set in the town of Hawkins, Stranger Things follows a group of four boys and their supernatural experiences.  The first season saw the fan favorite character Eleven, a telekinetic girl with unbelievable powers.  After the conclusion of Season 1, fans were left wondering what happened to Eleven, if the mystery had truly been solved, and if Hawkins would finally be granted some peace.  Luckily, most of those questions only produce more questions, as we dive deep into the second season of this massively popular show.  Does Stranger Things Season 2 build on the first, or stumble and lose its way?  Let’s find out.

First and foremost, I want to get this out of the way. Stranger Things Season 2 is not as good as the first.  That’s a tall order anyway, as the first season perfectly blended 80’s nostalgia and light horror elements to produce an entrancing world.  However, we learned a lot about the powers at play in Season 1.  With all the information we have about the Upside Down, the numerous experiments that were performed in the Hawkins Lab, and a variety of other stuff, some of the mystery of Season 2 is lost.

The second season picks up about a year after the conclusion of the first, and were reunited with our favorite boys; Mike, Dustin, Lucas, and Will.  After the cliffhanger of the first season, we know that Will has not completely gotten away from the darkness of the Upside Down.  This storyline goes to some pretty interesting places, and the horror elements of Season 2 are much more pervasive than the first.  Although it treads similar ground as the first season, the plot revolving around Will and his connection to the Upside Down is well told.  Unfortunately, it’s all the other stuff around it that bogs down the story.

Season 2 introduces a few new characters, all of which are eventually inconsequential to the main story.  This season also holds decent revelations for Eleven, but most of her screen time is spent away from the rest of the cast.  As Season 2 jumps back and forth from Eleven’s story to the story back in Hawkins, things start to get muddy.  Combine this with attempting to introduce too many new characters, and it all gets lost in the shuffle.


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Stranger Things Season 2 isn’t a bad season, it’s just not on the level of quality we have come to expect.  There’s some really excellent scenes and episodes here, but for every great moment, there’s an equally boring or padded subplot.  Things that we used to care about (what happened to Barb?) are delegated to the lowest level of importance, and Stranger Things Season 2 fails to hold focus.  It’s a rough follow up to a nearly perfect first season, and hopefully, the projected third season will clean things up.  It’s worth watching, but not really worth writing home about.  When the final credits run, you may love it, you may hate it, or you might not care at all.  That’s the main problem; I cannot depend on Stranger Things to be great.  At the very least, I expect it to entertain me.  Season 2 manages to do that but through a rocky and inconsistent road.

  1. Favorite character on Stranger Things?

    1. Dustin
    2. Mike
    3. Lukas
    4. Will
    2 votes
    Share Your Result

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